On June 18th, people from all around the world came together to participate in activities for #WorldKidneyCancerDay, and we’re proud to share what KidneyCAN did in partnership with the IKCC and Total Health Conferencing. Our goal each year on World Kidney Cancer Day is to raise awareness and bring together the kidney cancer community for education and support.

It’s important to keep kidney cancer in the spotlight. This year, approximately 74,000 people will be diagnosed with #kidneycancer and almost 15,000 people will die.

We at KidneyCAN are dedicated to finding a CURE and helping patients and their families live their best life while on this journey.

On World Kidney Cancer Day, we would typically host a combination of in-person events and online campaigns to share information and resources. However, with the world fairly well locked down in a pandemic, we went fully virtual to reach every part of the United States with our messages of inspiration and hope.

This year’s WKCD theme was “We Need to Talk About Physical Activity.” We shared facts and stories about physical activity and kidney cancer, using incredible contributions from our community. Their stories are wonderful examples of how you can stay healthy and keep moving when you have kidney cancer, whether you’re newly diagnosed, in treatment, in recovery, or a survivor.

 

Sharing Stories

Debbie K. shares how physical activity helps her feel better throughout her treatment for kidney cancer:

“I’m currently on Opdivo/Inlyta.  I feel very fortunate as my worst side effect so far is fatigue.  Fortunately, it is nothing that a good nap (or three) doesn’t fix.  It is hard to get used to, as I’ve always been very, very high energy, even in my old age of 62.  Ask my kids,  I’m old!  My dog does insist that I take her out for a sniff around the neighborhood, and I’ve found that when I am at my tiredest, if I get out for a walk I actually end up getting more energy!” 

Bud M. also finds that staying active helps him cope with the side effects of treatment:

“I think regular exercise is a must. I walked 4-6 km a day, at least 4 days a week, as well as stretching and playing with dumb-bells. After 1.5 yrs on Sutent, the soles of my feet became too tender and painful blisters stopped that routine. I am now waiting for my stationary bike to arrive.
I felt a lot better when I was doing the regular walk. I hope because regular exercises will allow me to tolerate treatments better, I can push for a better outcome. When I read the profiles of outliers on SmartPatients, they all do regular exercises. I am following that path!”

Learning from Others

We wanted to use World Kidney Cancer Day as an opportunity to highlight those living with kidney cancer, and those who have survived it, and to talk about the ways they’ve used exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being on their cancer journey. Two KidneyCAN founders, Bryan Lewis and Ralph Knapp, enjoyed a little golf while talking about KidneyCAN and their support for WKCD. 

We also talked to TJ Young, a friend of the Knapps and a fellow kidney cancer survivor. In his work as a Director of Golf, TJ sees the benefits and impact of an active lifestyle. 

Check out these great stories! 

 

Providing Resources

 

A key component of World Kidney Cancer Day is education. We wanted to share experts’ advice on eating well, staying active, and living well with kidney cancer.

We partnered with Total Health Conferencing to host a Facebook Live Webinar called “Let’s Get Physical! Staying Active and Healthy with Kidney Cancer.” Panelists included Dr. Bradley McGregor, a medical oncologist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute; Francesca Maglione, a registered dietitian in outpatient oncology at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center; and Ralph Knapp, a six-year kidney cancer patient living with stage IV RCC.

Over the course of the session, the panelists discussed the relationship between physical activity and your cancer risk, as well as the impact of exercise on your mental and physical well-being while living with cancer, along with healthy foods and activities you can enjoy.

Over the course of World Kidney Cancer Day, our social media posts, videos, and live events reached over 14,000 people! We’re proud of our community and their commitment to health.

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